A balmy Sunday afternoon, well-rested and alive after 13 hours of sleep I set off for a leisurely 10ish km run along the river. I’d only found the path alongside the river mid-week and was keen to explore further along it.
I quick look on google maps showed the trail running along the river all the way through Daegu, so instead of heading towards to centre area I switched it up and headed out of town.
I went at a steady pace enjoying seeing the landscape widen as I quickly left the urbanised area surrounding where I live. There weren’t many other runners out, but plenty of cyclists streaming past in either direction. As I paced along, iPod running, I kept an eye on the other side of the river – the trail vanished at spots, but in general seemed to be there.
After thirty minutes of jogging out I reached one of the bridges spanning the river and decided now was as good a time as any to cross over and head back. The other side of the river would take me on the outer bend of the river so I’d be back in plenty of time to shower and make my evening plans.
The trail was much less developed than the cycle way on the other side, sometimes by the river, other times vanishing and leading me to find roads following the river until I could re-pick it up. Once I’d be running for long enough to not want to turn back the trail took me into a series of smaller and smaller farms and turned away from the river up into the hills. I tried to find a riverside path to no avail and after a couple of turn backs took a trail up into the hills.
About 12 km in, so feeling fresh, the hills were exciting. There were sections of partially cleared track, others where I was just pushing through the vegetation and the steep sections of loose earth making me extra careful of my footing, very aware that armed with just my iPod this was not a great time to injure myself. Eventually I found a lower dirt trail where I could pick up my speed again, and when I was getting close to worrying when the forest was going to end I found my way out onto the end of the cycle trail on the opposite of the river.
Re-finding the river trail gave me a boost. I just needed to follow the trail back until I could find the bridge to cross me back over and return home. The running clock was over 90 minutes, it was past three, I hadn’t eaten since breakfast and was starting to get pretty thirsty.
I plodded along, my pace diminished and it becoming more of a mental challenge to keep pushing. I didn’t recognise the scenery and there was a distinct lack of bridges to cross over. Eventually, after having to take a few stops in shaded areas I found a place to cross and a water fountain that was heaven to me.
The water kept me going long enough to find a busier area that had a map showing a nearby metro stop. The stop was no where near where I lived, and I was left with little choice but to jump the barrier and collapse into a seat for the 40 minute journey to get me back home.
My short run had ended up being nearly two and a half hours, just under 27km and left me feeling very faint on the ride home. It took a good hour of food and rest to start feeling back alive and I’d missed my evening plans.
It turns out the trail had taken me away from the river near the crossing points and I hadn’t realised I’d covered an extra bend of the river. I was too lost in my thoughts to pay enough attention I guess so ended up on the opposite side of Daegu. The forest did look like it had some fun trails going through it, and with some tentative plans to enter some longer distance events, I want to go discover; but I’m thinking maybe a running backpack before I start exploring much further.
A plus of getting lost was that I finally went and checked out a jjimjilbang (찜질방) , a Korean bath house, with hot spa pools, saunas and steam rooms to help my legs recover. It was great and probably the only reason I had movable legs the next day. The biggest negative of the experience.. I saw students there. Teacher life.